M. David Lutz
Just for Laughs
"Writing is easy . . . Writing Good Ain't"
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Synergy, Davy, Jo, and Me

I didn’t have a brother but I had a ‘Davy.’  
He was my cousin, we were five years old.  

To make reading this story more educational, 
I will give you a workable explanation of the 
management term, ‘Synergy.’ The textbook 
explanation is: 

“The interaction of two or more agents or forces 
so that their combined effect is greater than the 
sum of their individual effects.”

Let’s see now if synergy was in effect with Davy
and me, shall we?  

Davy was, a typical little boy, and I gave the appearance of a normally developing adolescent male child.  Therefore, if Davy was a handful and I was a handful – together we became a barrel full.  

I cannot recall now which one of us asserted that the ability to fly like Superman was merely a matter of obtaining bath towels for capes secured by clothespins.  We sought a towering pinnacle to facilitate our take-off.  Graciously I allowed Davy to jump off the garage roof first.  Even back then, I was always putting others ahead of myself.  Besides, someone had to stay on the ground and run the Radar Tracking and Gift Shop.  I felt a tinge of admiration with just a touch of envy seeing Davy soar off the roof at least until he hit the ground like a sack of soiled diapers. 

We planned to try again as soon as his body cast came off.  In the meantime, we reviewed the video tapes and determined which parts of the plan needed some tweaking.  OSHA would not send out a consultant to audit our processes but one of the inspectors did return our call.  

“You two boys had better behave yourselves and restrict your play to environmentally safe toys recommended for children in your age group or I’m telling on you!” 

Taking his recommendation under advisement, we busied ourselves with urinating in empty beer bottles in the kitchen, reattaching the caps, and returning them to the fridge in hopes someone would chug down one of our counterfeit brew-ski’s.  During the production and bottling phase, Davy announced that based on lessons learned from his test flight, the pilot should have a parachute.  Clearly, the money we paid for the consultant, formerly from the FAA, had been beneficial.  We appropriated one of the bed sheets off Grandma’s clothesline who lived across the street.  

Before our next test, Davy moved away and our family soon left the inner city slums to settle in the all-white-mid-western-suburbs.  I would be leaving as the undefeated, undisputed ‘Peeing for Distance Champion of the World.’  It was a hollow victory   because that was my only victory in all of the events in our decathlon which included: Spitting-for-Distance; Throwing-the-Cat-for-Distance, which had to be canceled because after the first toss we couldn’t find the cat anymore; and Throwing-Rocks-at-Passing-Cars, which was more of a running event once the motorist got out of their cars and chased after us.  

In the sub-categories there was: Belching-on-Demand; Whistling-the-Loudest; and Making-that-Farting-Noise-With-Your-Hand-Under-Your-Armpit event.  We were going to substitute, Throwing-My-Sister-for-Distance, but Jo got upset and withdrew from the competition early blubbering something about having to go find her cat.  

We were getting out of the neighborhood just in time.  The pressure to join a gang was intense.  For kindergartners the two major gangs were the Sesame Street Kids and the Rug Rats.  Once I was robbed at knifepoint in a vacant lot for my milk money.  It was hard to believe that my assailant was going to stab me over a quarter.  But then you never know what a seven-year-old, hopped-up on Kool-aid crystals would do for that kind of money.  I mean a quarter back then would be equivalent to at least a thousand dollars now, I’m sure! 

Life in the suburbs was very boring.  This was a rural community--cows outnumbered people.  In my sub-division, there were manicured lawns and nothing else.  Without Davy, I had to work twice as hard to get into half as much trouble, which I am proud to say I did.  

I hope now you can see why synergy is so important?  Whether you are building a space shuttle or just peeing in beer bottles, you can do more with less if you have synergy.

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